Controversial Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua has put substance into his claim of leading a ‘church of all nations’ after packing an Olympic stadium in the South American nation of Colombia for a miracle crusade last weekend.
With almost 100,000 people attending the three day event, culminating with a pastor’s conference, the coming of the Nigerian pastor caused a stir within local media with several newspapers, television stations and radio networks covering the occasion.
Joshua, who is the head of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and founder of Christian television network Emmanuel TV, preached on the subject of faith in both days of the crusade, held at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Cali, Colombia.
In a message titled, ‘The Price Of Faith’, he stressed that both God’s Word and Spirit must be in consonance for Scriptural results to accompany ministry today.
“We are making Jesus Christ unpopular because Jesus is the Word and the Spirit but today we have taken Jesus as the Word,” the cleric lamented, calling on the church to stop exuding envy and jealousy and learn from each other.
The Nigerian pastor then ministered prayer to the sick and infirm. Notable miracles followed, including wheelchair bound invalids rising up and walking and a young man brought to the event on a mattress miraculously leaving it behind.
Each move from the prophet was accompanied by applause from the Colombians, the cry of ‘Cristo vive’ (Christ lives) reverberating around the stadium at every miracle that unfolded.
Despite language barrier, Joshua evidently won the hearts of the locals with his simplicity and warmth. He enjoined international attendees to invest in Colombia, stating that the impression the international community had about the nation was quite different to what he had personally experienced.
When Joshua offered ‘mass prayer’ for everyone within the stadium, calling on all ‘unclean spirits’ of witchcraft and immorality of a sexual nature to be exposed, the resultant pandemonium was extraordinary.
“All spirits of affliction, witchcraft, divination, immorality and lust – I command them out, in the name of Jesus Christ,” Joshua bellowed, translators conveying his every word in Spanish.
People throughout the stadium began rolling, screaming, vomiting and writhing uncannily on the floor. “The evil spirits behind their problems are being cast out,” a commentator frantically explained.
Striving to differentiate himself from the stereotypical ‘money-mongering’ connotation attached to Pentecostal pastors of his ilk, Joshua made it clear that material gain was not the focus of the event but the salvation of souls.
“Miracles, signs, wonders, deliverance and healing cannot be exchanged with money,” he warned the crowd, a statement backed up by the free entrance to the event and equally free distribution of ministry materials to attendees.
This was coupled by a humanitarian event held on Wednesday 16th July in which Joshua and his team distributed foodstuff to thousands of less privileged families.
Pictures of the whole event, which was broadcast live on Emmanuel TV and local Colombian channel ‘Telefamilia’, were posted on Joshua’s official Facebook account, followed by over one million people.
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist who monitored the crusade live on Emmanuel TV.